Twin Peaks

I went to Marks and Spencer for yet another bra fitting today. Out of all the bits of my body radically transformed by this epic lard busting journey, it’s the boobs that have changed the most. I started with a 50 inch under-bust measurement and now it’s a 32 or 34 in whatever cup size the boobs happen to FEEL like fitting into on a particular day. I swear I just get the scaffolding right then POW! They’ve shrunk some more. Could you please just STAY WHERE YOU ARE, ladies?

I had a very nice Bra Lady today, short and round with enormous boobs that I kept brushing by accident as she helped me into the various garments. She was very patient and kind as I told her I’d lost some more weight and needed yet another new bra. She made me try on FIFTEEN BRAS, people. I never knew there were so many kinds. But she was determined to wrestle the ladies into submission, even though I knew the very first one was going to be the best one.

She kept scurrying back and forth to fetch more bras so I took advantage of being alone with 360-degree full length mirrors. I like just having a good long look at myself. I did a lot of flexing and posing and sucking in my stomach and doing tricep kickbacks so I could see the muscle pop out. And you know what I thought? I likes what I see. I felt proud. I felt strong. I felt foxy. I had never felt so content to be occupying this body of mine. Dare I say I felt… totally done.

Anyway finally Bra Lady agreed with me that the first bra was the best. Then she asked me just how much weight I’d lost and I said "12 and a half stone". So she said "OH MY GOD 12 and a half STONE!?" and I said yes and explained that this was about my 75th bra fitting in the past 6.5 years and she said all sorts of nice things. I thanked her as she handed me the Chosen Bra and guess what she said?

"That should see you through the next couple of stone!"

As I walked away I snorted with laughter but it wasn’t until I got to the checkout that I thought, HEY!  The next couple of stone!? Does she think I still need to lose 2 stone? 28 pounds? 13 kilograms?

All the satisfaction and bravado I’ve been feeling for MONTHS just sort of wilted right there and the ye olde self-doubt rushed in. Do I still need to lose two more stone? Am I hideous? Have I been deluding myself? Are the exercise endorphins giving me false happiness? Am I just settling? Should I not be satisfied with a size 14? Are all these people who say "you look great" really saying "I mean, compared to BEFORE!" Is it wrong for me to think this body is just fine and dandy as it is right now?

I walked into about six different shops and looked at myself, in as many different angles and lighting as possible. I checked in shop windows and car windows and the public loos as well. Just to make sure I really was satisfied.

Affirmative, captain!

I came home and told Gareth all about it. I didn’t punch him on the arm, for I wasn’t angry, just bemused and a little wounded. It reminded me again that when it comes to lard busting you have to make sure you’re impressing yourself. You’ll never have a body that everyone in the world wide world is going to be in love with.

And it’s funny how no matter cool and confident you think you’ve become, there’s still a few wee chinks in your armour.

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48 thoughts on “Twin Peaks

  1. Ahh – ignore saleswoman. That’s the sort of comment my mother makes all the time. You think you look fab, the good doctor thinks you look fab. Who gives a toss what the rest of the world thinks. In case you are interested. I think you look fab.

  2. She didn’t mean you needed to loose more weight. She meant the bra is a good one! And I bet about 5 minutes after you left the shop she put her fist in her mouth as she realised what she said and probably offened you!
    You’re amazin and an inspiration to millions of people. Don’t fret hun x

  3. That woman was just ignorant mate.. I am sure you are looking fan-frikken-tastic and HOT. She was probably just jealous… didn’t you say she was “short and round with enormous boobs”… ha bloody ha ….Don’t let anyone pop your balloon, you have worked so hard to get where you are right now, you deserve to feel a million dollars.

  4. Ahk! COuldn’t be further from the truth. Go with your gut- it doesn’t lie!

  5. some good points there, comrades.

    this whole year has just been a REALLY WEIRD time. a transition phase, methinks. questioning whether i am “ready” to be done. does that make any sense at all? i’ve been trying to lose weight for the best part of 20 years and it’s weird/scary/thrilling to think i’m finally moving on from all that.

    (so tis why this blog has been a rant fest lately 🙂

  6. Dearest DG

    Who lives in your body? You do! You deserve to be proud of what you have achieved. And you obviously are! Very good that you checked yourself afterwards; the old you wouldn’t have. You just need to have to make sure that your armour is tougher than tough!

    A thoughtless comment needn’t spoil the special “totally done” moment you had. And what a wonderful thought to have.

    You are done! Physically. You just need to let your mind catch up, which it will.

    Sorry, that all sounds a bit teacher-like.

    You are totally inspirational and fabby!

    Mrs L xxxxxxxxxx

  7. I’m with Mizzizh – I think she was probably carrying on the tone of the conversation about the girls continuously changing and needing new ‘houses’ and had no idea at the time how what she was saying could be interpreted. She’s probably mortified at what she said. Take care Z

  8. Oh, no! I took it as hyperbole. You know, as in “this new luggage ought to see you through your next two or three circumnavigations of the globe”.

    And of course you’re looking fit ‘n foxy. You’ve earned it!

  9. I really don’t think she meant anything by her comment, more a positive (and probably what she thought to be a encouraging word) rather than anything negative. PS have been reading your blog for AGES but never commented. Its fab, you’re FAB and i’m really glad that you got your immigration status sorted out!

  10. Hey Shauna

    Sometimes people don’t really think about what they’re gonnay say before they say it – I’m sure it was just an off hand comment that meant absolutely nothing. You gotta learn to roll with the punches and just ignore stuff like that or you’ll always suffer from self doubt. Take it from me – you look grreat! And anyway – you sound happy which really is the most important thing – no matter what you weigh!

  11. For rather complicated reasons I spent a good portion of last night looking for photographs of a friend of mine who died last year. In the course of doing this I ended up looking at loads of photographs of myself taken over the last 20 years and the thing that struck me was that I looked just fine in almost all of them.

    I have wasted a huge amount time feeling bad about myself when actually I looked pretty damn good. I just wish I’d realised at the time.

    Stick with how you felt when you looked in the mirror. The woman in the shop would probably be really shocked and saddened if she knew that what she said had upset you. She was probably incredibly impresseed by what you have achieved.

    Oh and if you need to buy any more bras go to John Lewis or whatever the equivalent is in Scotland. Much better than M&S if you need a small size but a bigger cup. I speak from experience.

  12. I have to agree with Mizzizh as well – I’m sure that later she put together what she said and was duly mortified. And if she’s not, she SHOULD BE.

  13. Aww, poor bra lady – I bet she didn’t mean it as it sounded. How many times do you make a casual comment without thinking and then go “Oops! That came out wrong”?

    You look GREAT, Shauna.

    By the way, I hope they had those mirrors positioned so you could see your back – I spend AGES in those change rooms flexing, cos it’s the only place I can see those particular muscles. Need new clothes? Nope, I just want to admire my lats and traps! 😀

  14. Good grief you don’t need to lose anything more. Silly M&S woman. We are talking an M&S woman here… some are good and some are bad… they are just normal people types.

    Anyway write and complain you might get a £10 voucher.

  15. I’m with the others that said that she wasn’t referring to you Needing To Lose Two More Stone, but rather that the bra is a sturdy bugger that will love you long time. That being said, I would’ve reacted just as you did.

    Aside, I am so jealous. My girls are budging – everything else is losing blubbage apart from the boobies; which continue to give me back and neck problems, never mind whack me in the face every time I try to do something high impact O_O

  16. Me thinks you need to look hard at the little round woman with the big bazzookies. She probably has NO IDEA how much more weight you “SHOULD” lose, because her body is so different to yours. People who are way shorter than me always guess I’m 70kg, max. That’s 15 kgs LIGHTER than I am now, and lower than my goal weight!

    Again, DJ, again, I say this. You gotta CONFRONT! You should have went back under the guise of asking her a bra related question (eg: is machine wahing THAT BAD?) then said “Oh, by the way…I’m not losing any more weight. I don’t need to lose a couple more stone, so you won’t be seeing me again for a while! All the time keeping a BIG SMILE on your dial.

    Take back the power, girl.

  17. I agree with other commenters that salespeople sometimes say stupid things. I was helping a friend shop at Lane Bryant several months ago and the cashier looked at her black skirt and blouse and asked us, “That’s nice! Are you shopping for a particular occasion?” to which my friend had to reply, “My father’s funeral.” Ouch! My friend felt really bad for the clerk.

    I’ve also been pondering the “Am I done?” question lately and I don’t know when I’ll know if I am done, if I ever will be “done” and how all of that will make me feel. I’ve lost so much, but ironically that means if I gained it back I’d have so much to lose.

  18. Oh dear – I completely understand why you reacted like that but I agree with everyone above who said she’s probably sitting hitting herself on the head right now, thinking ‘you STUPID woman!’. Sometimes when I’m trying to be funny I just say the stupidest things and later think, oh my GOD, I hope s/he didn’t think I mean that…

  19. She’s probably just used to girls your age going through there and wanting to look like Beckhams skeleton or something, these comments hurt no doubt but it’s really how you feel and if you feel done, you are definitely done. Screw the media 😉

  20. I think your first couple of paragraphs give you all the answers you need.

    YOU feel great in your skin, you admire how you look and you are fit and healthy. Other’s opinions, especially homely little bra ladies, don’t need to matter to you anymore. I think you need to focus on accepting that you are happy with yourself and you don’t have to secretly feel like the “fat girl” anymore.

  21. My poor sister, after a traumatic marriage break up, subsequent illness, heart break etc, lost a hell of a lot of weight. I thought she look ill/underweight. Looking gaunt and traumatised she went to her GP for some reason or other and he (who was used to her being a much heavier weight) said to her ‘oh well, maybe all this trauma will help you lose some weight’. 0 points for sensitivity and observation skills. Dickhead!

  22. No-one can MAKE you feel comfortable in your own skin, that is something only you can do.

    Also, trust YOUR first instincts, not others comments and remember that her words could easily be interpreted as an ‘off-the-cuff’ encouragingly nice thing to say. I Imagine she would be mortified to think that you thought she might be criticising you!

    With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.
    Dalai Lama

    By your actions, and the inspiration you produce, you ARE building a better world. Believe that and celebrate what you have achieved – it is truly outstanding.

  23. I agree with the comments that “you’re reading too much into it”. Most of us have no idea what a “couple of stone” looks like (well, especially those of us who have no idea what a stone is, is it 5 pounds or 14? 🙂 )

    HOWEVER, to play devil’s advocate, your current “goal weight” is set to a BMI of 25. And, according to the WHO, that’s right on the border between normal/ overweight. Crunching a few numbers, I see that you’d have to get to 122 to approach underweight, which is a full 4 stone away from where you are.

    My personal goals are a lower BMI than 25, for health reasons as well as because I think it’s nice to have a “buffer” for times of stress, pregnancy, etc. I also read that a lower BMI is healthier. It also happens to look and feel better. From what I read, women generally think they “look good” in the range of 20-22.

    Your life, your choices, but it is certainly not unusual to re-think the weight goal once you reach it.

  24. On a side note, suppose people who complimented you were also implying “I mean, compared to BEFORE!” Would that be really so bad? I admit that that’s usually the implicit point – someone who is already thin usually doesn’t get all those comments. I feel the same way when someone says “you look nice today”; “meaning I look frumpish the rest of the time?!” Unfortunately, that is often what they mean.

  25. Shauna, I’ve been reading for ages, but haven’t ever commented before.

    It’s very easy for people to say “Oh, I’m sure she didn’t mean it like that, and you look fabulous.” She probably didn’t, and you definitely do look fabulous, but that’s not really the point, is it?

    I could be wrong, but the way I read it was that it’s pretty confronting to go from feeling fabulous and healthy to feeling pretty average in a heartbeat, based on what someone who doesn’t know you has said.

    For me, being ‘done’ means not having to worry about what little old lady boob wranglers think about your body. It means having enough courage to be thankful and greatful for the body that you’ve worked damn hard for, and for everything it can do for you. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with what you look like or what you weigh.

    Steph

    🙂

  26. if you THINK you are done, methinks you indeed are done!

    Are you happy when you looked into that mirror?

    I think perhaps it may have come out the wrong way, that she did not MEAN You need to lose weight… but- because YOU said this was your kabillionth bra fitting in six years, maybe she thought you were STILL going…. because, you keep going in….

    I know, it’s very little consolation and such but – you look fantastic in the pics that you post… and, if you THINK you are done and feel “done” (That sounds like a piece of meat, oops!) but, if you feel done and are happy with you, then THAT is all that is important!

    HUGS! You did good! And, don’t let one remark undo all that you have done… be strong 😀

  27. Steph – YES! That is EXACTLY what I meant. Maybe I didn’t write the entry very well because people have interpreted it in all sorts of different ways 🙂

    RG – I mentioned early in the entry that 2 stone is 28 pounds. I always try to give translations for non-UK visitors coz I know it can be bloody annoying 🙂

    Huge thanks for the comments guys! And have a rockin’ weekend.

  28. Just to be contrary, I’m going to suggest that none of us can ever really be “done” because it’s about the journey and making the good choices forever and ever. Of course, I’m one of those Pollyanna Sunshine sort of people, so feel free to ignore. (And you look super-fabulous just as you are, so listen to your body!!!)

  29. Oh noooo. Innocent or not, that still has to hurt a little — and I am SO proud of you! I should probably get fitted soon.. I need a decent sports bra!

  30. I know the sensation.. feeling amazing one minute, than dreadful the next over some throwaway comment that was actually kindly meant.

    What is important is how you take it. You know you are thin, you have the self confidence and knowledge and self love (well I hope you do by now!) to take comments like this the right way.

    Although it is always easier for someone else to see the interchanges as they are meant- kindly!

    The lady was obviously impressed with your fantastic weight loss and made a joke that she hoped this bra would last you, unlike the others.

    Anyway… I think it might be dangerous if you lost another whole 2 stone- you’d disappear. We’d have to start a send Diet Girl some Greens and Blacks fund 🙂

  31. Oh dear…
    I have to sympathize with the saleslady here. This is exactly the type of stupid thing that would come out of my mouth. You’d leave the shop and I’d slap my forehead in disbelief that I had said something so stupid because I would have almost said…”well, here’s hoping this is the last one” and I would have stopped myself because I would have thought…”maybe she’s still working at it…don’t want her to think I don’t believe she can do it” then I’d open my mouth and something the opposite of what I meant would come tumbling out.
    On another note….about 10 years ago I was in the State Licensing Office getting my drivers licence renewed. There was a young man sitting next to me in the waiting area filling out paperwork to get a Washington State ID card. Apparently he had come to the part where they ask you about your height, weight etc…and he was stumped. In a very thick Scottish accent he said to me, “excuse me but do you know how many pounds are in a stone? I weigh 12 stone but I don’t know how many pounds that is.” I had no idea but I told him I’d guess he weighed about 160 pounds.
    So…now I know that there are 14 pounds to a stone so he weighed 168 pounds. I was pretty close.
    I’ve wondered about that for 10 years. Now I know. Thanks!

  32. Oh dear…
    I have to sympathize with the saleslady here. This is exactly the type of stupid thing that would come out of my mouth. You’d leave the shop and I’d slap my forehead in disbelief that I had said something so stupid because I would have almost said…”well, here’s hoping this is the last one” and I would have stopped myself because I would have thought…”maybe she’s still working at it…don’t want her to think I don’t believe she can do it” then I’d open my mouth and something the opposite of what I meant would come tumbling out.
    On another note….about 10 years ago I was in the State Licensing Office getting my drivers licence renewed. There was a young man sitting next to me in the waiting area filling out paperwork to get a Washington State ID card. Apparently he had come to the part where they ask you about your height, weight etc…and he was stumped. In a very thick Scottish accent he said to me, “excuse me but do you know how many pounds are in a stone? I weigh 12 stone but I don’t know how many pounds that is.” I had no idea but I told him I’d guess he weighed about 160 pounds.
    So…now I know that there are 14 pounds to a stone so he weighed 168 pounds. I was pretty close.
    I’ve wondered about that for 10 years. Now I know. Thanks!

  33. First time poster here, but I just HAVE to agree with your comment
    ‘You’ll never have a body that everyone in the world wide world is going to be in love with.’

    and thats all there is. Losing weight is only ever going to end up your own journey because no matter how svelte, how rounded and muscled you are, there is always someone who thinks its not enough. I think once you realise that, you can celebrate any change without pushing that its ‘not enough’

    errr, im really making a mess of my “hey first timer cool comment post’ but i just want to say I think you look wonderful, but more importantly i admire your humour and your confidence.

    You do inspire me!
    Amy 🙂

  34. Awww, I was reading and thinking ‘good for you’, checking yourself out and liking what you see, it’s a good feeling. And then when I read her comment about losing 2 more stone I was deflated for you. Take no notice, you feel great, you look great, you are great!

    P.S. Is it only me that has problems with M&S bra fittings? Firstly no two bras in there fit the same and secondly when I went for a maternity bra fitting, the lady sold me bras I would grow into!!! I have, 5 months on, but what about support when you need it. They are the most disgusting things and make my chest look like a shelf. My mother wore wires through 4 pregnancies and breast fed all of us. I’m sticking with my mother’s advice. It’s always been the best.

    Anyway, back to the point in hand. As they say in Aussie land ‘You Rawk, DG’.

    S xxx

  35. Hey there. I don’t think the saleslady meant anything offensive or was being mean. That said, I don’t think you can afford to lose much more weight without adversely affecting your health. You are tall and probably at a good weight for your height. Muscle weighs more than fat, anyway!

    Bras are so expensive. Sigh.

  36. You have come WAY too far to worry about what passing strangers say without thinking girl! Hey and if you are ever near a Bravissimo shop, go and have a fitting there! No connection to this company at all but can’t recommend them enough. Went there for a fitting, and got PROPERLY fitting bra for first time in 30 years of bra fittings by a young lady who simply looked at me in my existing bra and returned 5 mins later with exactly the right size! Phenomenal!

  37. I reckon bra lady was making an off-the-cuff remark without thinking what she was saying. Either that, and she misunderstood your desire to turn into the shrinking invisible woman!

  38. Hmm. I cannot be bothered to read that GAZILLION comments before me, but I am sure they all say something similar to my following comment.

    Dude, I have SEEN your photos, I have read your blog. Not only what you have done is amazing, but I think you look amazing.

    Sometimes an ill-thought comment can really blindside you and make the old hurts sting again.

    I was out for a friends birthday the other night and met a girl (we shall call her “B”!) who is a plus-sized model. She and the girl I knew (we shall call her “A”!) started raving about how I join her agency…

    I quote…

    A: “Jules should SO do it! You should SO do it Jules! B, Jules would be great”

    B: “Yeah, you would be great. I am not getting enough work as I am a size 14 and I am not big enough, but you would get HEAPS of work”

    Fuckers.

    They left and I cried at the pub, then I came home and cried some more.

    Even though they were ultimately trying to be complimentary, it really, really upset me.

    It was a huge reality check for me, although I have been feeling pretty good about myself, other people have a different perception of me. 🙁

  39. Personally I think you need to concentrate on the possitive things she said earlier. So often we concentrate on the negative and let the positive go in one ear and out the other. Like the others have said she was probably kicking herself after you left, when she realised what she’d said.

  40. Silly salesperson, as everyone has said. But it’s salutory to know that even someone like you, who has achieved so much, is so easily cast down. One should always engage brain before opening mouth. 12 stone, though. Wow. I hadn’t quite realised that it was so much. Wow. You’re amazing and also lovely looking.

  41. When I first got to size 10, I explained to my masseure that so much of the skin was due to 150 or so lost.

    His response?

    “That’s great! Keep going!”

    I was naked under a sheet. What could I do??

  42. Hello folks! I never expected so many comments on this entry so sorry i haven’t replied to them all… but THANKS!

    But I must shout out to Frances and Jules… DUDES I am so mortified on your behalf. I know that feeling all too well!